October 5, 2022

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About 40 firefighters from several Prince Edward Island departments rushed to Murray Harbour Friday afternoon to fight a blaze at the Machon’s Point Fisherman’s Co-op.

Murray Harbour Fire Department deputy chief Alan Glover told CBC News the explosion was caused by propane tanks at the mechanics’ shop and ice manufacturing facility.

No one was injured, Glover said. 

He said the department got a call about the fire at 3:30 p.m. AT and called in help from the Belfast, Montague and Murray River fire departments. 

The building was fully engulfed when they arrived, Glover said. Then the flames reached some propane tanks being stored inside.

A building is engulfed in red flames, lots of black smoke.
Part of the fish plant engulfed in flames Friday afternoon. (Rebecca Pineau)

“There was an explosion which we heard from the campground. It was around 3:50,” said Rebecca Pineau, who is staying at Ocean Acres Campground nearby. 

People in the area say they could see smoke for kilometres.   

The electricity was out in nearby communities while crews fought the blaze. Maritime Electric was reporting 1,356 households without power as of 5:10 p.m., but shortly after that, the number was reduced to 15.

The area’s member of Parliament, Lawrence MacAulay, tweeted his sympathy for the plant’s workers as well as the fishing boats landing catches there. 

As of 6 p.m., firefighters were continuing to hose down the ruins, and using heavy equipment to knock down what was left of the building.

The company was established in 1987. At peak season, 45 people work at the facility. 



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